One and done

November started out with a really excellent first week of training. The highlight was the long run: 18.66 miles with negative splits. I went into this run just hoping to make it to 18 miles. I started very slow and mixed in some walking breaks. I’ve been having a hard time getting warmed up lately, so I thought some planned walking breaks would help me relax if it felt very difficult in the early miles. I did a 4:1 ratio for the first three miles. I left my watch on run/walk for the entire run. Once I made it through the first 10k, I decided to use the walk breaks as surges. This felt great. With three miles left I switched to 4 minutes hard, 1 minute easy. I could tell I was working hard, but I never doubted my ability to finish the run. My average pace for this run was 9:12, just 6 seconds slower than my marathon pace. Definitely wasn’t expecting that!

The second week of training started out with a really crummy 4 mile run. And that was it. That was my entire second week of training. If I had been posting regularly, you’d know that I have been going back and forth on the ultra marathon on an almost daily basis since I first thought of it in September. I landed on “no” and the decision finally stuck.

I have to go to work. I have to study. And I have to sleep. But I don’t have to spend hours and hours a week running. I like to spend my time doing this but right now it just isn’t worth the price. It was one too many things on my plate and was causing me far too much stress, especially when I missed a run. I also realized that part of the reason for the back and forth on the ultra might be that I was never really 100% invested. Running an ultra marathon has never been one of my goals. Why was I suddenly pushing to do one right now?

Right now my priority is finding some balance during my very limited free time. My husband and I celebrated our third anniversary earlier this month and it was really nice to take a weekend off from running and homework to celebrate. I even made time for a yoga class last weekend. Hopefully I can keep this up as we enter the busy holiday season. Happy early thanksgiving everyone!

Mentioned my anniversary and have no shame in using it as an excuse to share a wedding picture. #sorrynotsorry




5 thoughts on “One and done

  1. I definitely understand the allure of the “31 on 31” and how it can be hard to give up something that you’ll never be able to do again. But, if there’s anything I’ve learned this year, it’s that no one race is worth sacrificing your mental, emotional and physical health. You’ll get over the missed ultra, but I promise you won’t regret the decision to free yourself from the pressure of training and let running be enjoyable and guilt-free again.

    Running birthday races is cool but sometimes it’s just not meant to be. My 30th birthday falls on a Sunday this coming year, so naturally my first instinct was rushing to find a half or full marathon I can run that day, because “OMG BIRTHDAY RACE OMG.” I ended up finding a half I really wanted to do in a place I really wanted to vacation…the weekend after my birthday. So we’re doing that instead, and leaving for my 30th birthday trip 2 days after I turn 30, and running a 30th birthday half marathon the week after I turn 30. I mean…who cares? Doing a race on your milestone birthday is cool, but you know what else is cool? Being able to do other fun stuff and eat junk food because your entire day isn’t taken up by resting and recovering from a grueling distance race.

    If you do an ultra in the future, you will be doing it because you really WANT to and it fits in your life at the time. And it will be so much better and you will be glad you waited.

    Happy anniversary!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. ^ I think Hanna has a great point. One thing I’ve learned since getting injured 2 weeks ago is do not be “married” to a race. In both the literal and figurative sense, because training can take over your life but also because it is just one race of many. I will not be able to run the marathon I’d hoped, and I made peace with that. I can hopefully still run the half and do the best job I can. In the end, you have to do what is right for you and where your heart is. If your heart is not in the distance, you will not do well at it. One of my friends is super fast and only runs 5Ks. Everyone suggests he run longer, but he loves 5Ks and excels at them. None of us are getting paid to run and we do it for enjoyment, so if you’re not enjoying it… don’t! Plenty of ways to be healthy and exercise without running ultras or even running at all. Heck, I’ve found brand-new-to-me core muscles since I got injured!

    Maybe you can find another birthday race you like more? My birthday race ended up being cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew, but I just celebrated hard at another race a few weeks later. You’re worth it every day, not just on your birthday <3.

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  3. Happy anniversary! And I think it’s always fine to change your mind on races. You know by now that I do this all the time and have no regrets. Races will ALWAYS be there (with more and more added every single year) so never put off life to run one! You’ll do an ultra if you want to when the time is right.

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving!


  4. What a gorgeous wedding picture! Happy anniversary!

    I think you made a smart decision to cut back on training. Even though I’m not in school, I totally get the need to juggle priorities right now. House stuff is consuming all of my time, and I can’t imagine training for a full marathon right now. I’m glad I made the decision to drop to the half. My legs are tired from standing all day painting, they can barely handle 10 miles after that. If I had to run 15+ miles and then do manual labor at the house I’d be dead!

    The end of the semester is right around the corner and then you’ll get some much deserved relaxation! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m a bad influence and jump at the chance for big challenges but I have to agree with Hanna. If the ultra wasn’t fitting into life right now no sense stressing yourself out. You made the right choice and one day when things line up better, you can do 60 miles on your 60th bday lol

    Liked by 1 person

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